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Expression SPRING 2007

THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF EMERSON COLLEGE

Readers of the World, Unite!

Book clubs are a new force the publishing world can’t ignore

Into the Stratosphere

New technologies boost the power and reach of WERS Radio

The Big

Ad

Attack

The Rite Stuff

About 1,000 students graduate in spring ceremonies

Nontraditional marketing aims for maximum impact


Commencement 2007 The lighter side of Commencement is evidenced by the customized mortarboards and other accoutrement many students displayed. For full Commencement coverage and additional photos, see page 16.


Expression

THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF EMERSON COLLEGE

SPRING 2007

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20

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Memory Lane

Experience Emerson College in days gone by

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Campus Digest

Alumnus makes large donation toward Paramount project, and other news

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Readers of the World, Unite!

Book clubs are a new force the publishing world can’t ignore

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Into the Stratosphere

New technologies boost WERS Radio’s status

16

Commencement

1,000 graduates celebrate their day in the sun

20

Not Your Father’s Marketing Campaign

Nontraditional marketing aims for maximum impact

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Notable Expressions

A compendium of alumni accomplishments

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Alumni Digest

Read about alumni events in Boston, Los Angeles, New York and other locations

33

Class Notes

Read the news about your classmates

Expression is published three times a year (fall, winter and spring) for alumni and friends of Emerson College by the Office of Public Affairs (David Rosen, Vice President) in conjunction with the Department of Institutional Advancement and the Office of Alumni Relations (Barbara Rutberg ’68, Director).

Office Of Public Affairs public_affairs@emerson.edu 617-824-8540 fax 617-824-8916

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Expression Executive Editor David Rosen Editor Rhea Becker Writer Christopher Hennessy Design Director Charles Dunham Editorial Assistant Catherine Sheffield

Office Of Alumni Relations alumni@emerson.edu 800-255-4259 617-824-8535 fax 617-824-7807

Copyright © 2007 Emerson College 120 Boylston St. Boston, Massachusetts 02116-4624


Memory Lane

In This Issue

WERS, Past and Present The photographs below come from the early years of the College’s student radio station, WERS (88.9 FM). They are about 50 years old, so they might seem strange and unfamiliar to the students currently working at the award-winning radio station.

Since the days of record players, in-studio sound effects and oversized microphones, radio as a medium has embraced exciting new technologies. These days stations using high-definition transmitters and music and talk shows beamed from satellites high above the earth and streamed over the World Wide Web have replaced the crackly, short-range broadcasts of the past. WERS is now among these stations. WERS has consistently been at the forefront and is now one of the cutting-edge student-run stations in the country. Learn more about the most recent advances and the super-marketable skills students are learning at the station in our story on WERS, beginning on page 12.

Earlier this year the city of Boston was put on high alert when a marketing program for a cable cartoon show got out of hand. (To promote a TV show, the Cartoon Network hired two local men to install electronic ‘Lite-Brite’ devices in nooks and crannies around the city, including under bridges.) Our cover story examines guerilla marketing, a new, sometimes outrageous form of marketing, as well as other alternative means of marketing. Alumni who work in publishing weigh in on the soaring popularity of book clubs. What influences clubs to choose the books they read? How powerful are book clubs in pushing ‘sleeper’ books onto the bestseller lists? Writer Christopher Hennessy explores the book club trend, which has brought millions of enthusiastic readers together. Next, alumni who worked at college radio station WERS will be thrilled to learn that the station has made some great strides recently that have put it on the national map. XM, the satellite radio giant, selected WERS this year to kick off its first-ever college music series. And there’s other great WERS news. Commencement 2006 saw about 1,000 graduates receive degrees. The undergraduate speaker was Tom Freston, a media industry innovator who helped create the MTV Networks (Tom’s son was a member of the graduating class this year). The graduate speaker was best-selling author Walter Mosley. Enjoy! Rhea Becker, editor

WERS IN DAYS GONE BY. The studentrun college radio station has experienced numerous advances in technology over the decades.

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Expression welcomes short letters to the editor on topics covered in the magazine. The editor will select a representative sample of letters to publish and reserves the right to edit copy for style and length. Send letters to: Editor, Expression, Office of Public Affairs, Emerson College, 120 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116-4624; public_affairs@emerson.edu.


Campus Digest Karen Finley brings performance, exhibition to campus Internationally renowned performance artist, visual artist and author Karen Finley was the 2007 artist-inresidence at the College for one week during the spring semester. During her stay, Finley presented The Dreams of Laura Bush and The Passion of Terri Schiavo at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, took part in a symposium, and brought her Nation Building series of artworks that seek to consider, respond and reflect on the current administration’s quest for nation

building to the College’s Huret and Spector Gallery. Finley is a New Yorkbased artist whose performances have been praised often for their raw and transgressive impact. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships and two Obie Awards. Emerson’s Visiting Artist Program is made possible by a gift from anonymous donors. Karen Finley

Playwright Carpenter dies TV producer Bright ,’76 pledges $1M gift to Paramount Alumnus, College trustee and visiting faculty member Kevin Bright ’76, co-creator and executive producer of the TV sitcom, Friends, has pledged $1 million to support construction of Emerson’s Paramount Center project on Lower Washington Street. President Liebergott

announced the pledge May 11 at groundbreaking ceremonies for the project, which will include a renovated Paramount Theatre, a performance development center and a residence hall for 260 students. Liebergott said the project represents “a new chapter in the long-standing partnership between Emerson College and the City of Boston -- one that will serve local arts organizations as well as Emerson students and faculty and help revitalize the Lower Washington Street neighborhood.” She thanked Bright for the pledge saying, “Your generous gift will support the work of our students and faculty for generations to come. This is yet another example of your dedication

and leadership. We are enormously grateful to have friends like you.” Other participants in the groundbreaking ceremony included Boston Mayor Thomas, Ted Cutler, former chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Vice President for Administration and Finance David Ellis. Facilities in the Paramount Center will include a renovated, 550-seat Paramount Theater that will be adapted for live performance, a 125-seat black box theater, a 200-seat film screening room, multiple rehearsal and practice rooms, a sound stage for film production classes, a scene shop, several classrooms and a commercial restaurant.

Betsy Carpenter, director, teacher and theater artist who taught playwriting at Emerson for more than 15 years, died Dec. 10, 2006, after a long illness. Carpenter taught first in the Department of Performing Arts, where she also served as the first artistic director of Emerson Stage’s New Play Festival, and later in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing. Donations may be made to Betsy Carpenter Playwriting Award, Emerson College, 120 Boylston St., 7th floor, Boston, MA 021164624. Please make checks payable to Emerson College with a notation that the gift is for the Betsy Carpenter Playwriting Award.

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Civic and business leader Meade elected trustees chair

Amato, DeLuca and Aram retire from faculty Three faculty members retired at the end of the academic year: Philip Amato ’60, MA ’61, professor of mathematics; Anthony DeLuca, professor of history; and Dorothy Aram, professor of communication

Anthony DeLuca (left), Dorothy Aram and Philip Amato at a recent reception held in honor of their retirement.

sciences and disorders. All three also served in various administrative roles. Emerson College has played an enormous role in the life of Mathematics Professor Philip Amato. Not only did he attend the College as an undergraduate and graduate student, but he met his wife here via an introduction by the late Emerson faculty member Coleman Bender. Amato joined the faculty in 1963. He was academic dean and academic vice president of Emerson from 1992 to 1995. He also chaired the former Division of Computer Applications & Mathematics as well as several other academic departments.

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History Professor Anthony DeLuca, who arrived at Emerson in 1981, taught a roster of courses that included Political Thought (“one of my favorite courses”), Western Civilization, Russian History and Public Opinion & Propaganda. His areas of expertise are international politics, European history and international relations. He also chaired the former Division of Humanities (1981-1989). He will live in New Hampshire, where he will be a visiting professor at Plymouth State University and work as a certified ski instructor on the side. Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor Dorothy Aram came to Emerson in 1992, and served as chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She was the College’s vice president for academic affairs from 2000 to 2003 as well as interim vice president and academic dean (1995-96). She earned the honor of ASHA Fellow – the highest recognition of continued academic and service contributions to the field from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Upon retirement, Aram and her husband plan to spend part of the year in Seville, Spain, where their daughter lives, and the other part in Boston.

Peter Meade ’70, LHD ’05, of Boston, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and former president and CEO of the New England Council, has been elected chair of the Emerson College Board of Trustees. He succeeds Ted Cutler ’51, who has chaired the Board for seven years. Meade has played a significant role in the economic, political and civic life of Boston and New England over the past several decades. He served as public safety coordinator for the city of Boston during federally mandated school desegregation in the 1970s and from 1983 to 1992 he gained a reputation for astute political analysis and commentary as a talk show host at WBZ Radio. Meade’s many civic involvements include chairing the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and co-chairing the board of directors

of MassINC, a public policy think tank. He also serves on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League of New England, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, AAA of Southern New England, and the New England Council. In accepting the appointment, Meade said, “I’ve learned a lot from Ted Cutler and watching the incredible job that he has done. This is an extraordinary board, one that is committed to maintaining Emerson as the great institution it is, and I’m honored to be working with each and every member.”

Seventh annual film and video festival takes place in Los Angeles The College’s 7th Annual Festival of Film and Video presented documentary, animated and dramatic films made by students and alumni at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Los Angeles in March. Hosting the program was Bob Gersh, co-president of The Gersh Agency, whose son attends Emerson. The films were: Razor Man, a Western directed by Keto Shimizu ’07; Ride

to Danger, a computeranimated film directed by Silas Lesnick ’07; Seven Year Scratch, a drama directed by Stephen Ruberto ’08; Matters of the Heart, a computeranimated film directed by Rosa Jurjevics ’06; Elevator Girl, a comedy directed by Daniel Madden ’09; A Journey of 8mm, a documentary directed by Abigail Bahret ’05; Dreaming, a computeranimated film directed by Yu-Ching Li ’05; and Brother Soldiers, a drama directed by Sean LaGrange ’08.


Five new trustees join College board The Emerson College board of trustees elected five new members at its March and May meetings. They are: Wall Street executive Eric Alexander ’78, attorney James A. Aloisi, ESPN executive Al Jaffe ’68, former attorney Linda Moray, and real estate executive/film producer Steven B. Samuels. Alexander is chief operating officer of Wall Street Access, a privately held New York Stock Exchange firm that provides institutional, advisory and retail brokerage services to individual traders and professional money managers. He provides leadership to the company in the areas of overall strategy, marketing, sales, customer service, trading, technology and human resources. He has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, including

more than seven years with Burson-Marsteller agency. Aloisi is a director in the public law and policy group of the Boston law firm of Goulston and Storrs and a former partner at Hill & Barlow, also located in Boston. Prior to entering private practice, he held several high-level positions in Massachusetts state government, including assistant attorney general, chief legal counsel for the Department of Revenue, assistant secretary of transportation, and general counsel for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. He is a graduate of Boston College and Boston College Law School and holds a master’s degree in liberal arts from Harvard University. Jaffe is vice president for talent negotiation and production recruitment at ESPN. Jaffe joined the network in 1987 as news manager and was directly

involved with the daily production of the program SportsCenter. Since 2004, he has been a judge on the ESPN reality show Dream Job. Jaffe has also worked at KOVR-TV in Sacramento, Calif., KNTV-TV in San Jose, Calif., WCVB-TV in Boston and WHDH-TV/Radio in Boston. He won the Radio and Television News Directors Association’s Award for Regional Investigative Reporting at KOVR in 1986 and an Emmy Award at WCVB in 1978 for Best Newscast. Moray is a former litigation attorney who left the practice of law in 1987 to devote her time to addressing the AIDS epidemic. She served for 10 years on the board of directors of the AIDS Project Los Angeles and provided pro bono

legal services to people with AIDS. She currently serves on the board of directors of Children Affected by AIDS and The Rape Treatment Center at the UCLA/Santa Monica Hospital. She recently joined the board of trustees of the Landmark School in Prides Crossing, Mass. Samuels has built or redeveloped more than 50 projects in seven states since 1984. His firm, Samuels & Associates, focuses on creating developments that enhance local neighborhoods and communities. It was one of the first in the country to return new development to the urban core through projects such as South Bay Center in the Dorchester section of Boston and Grove Hall Mecca in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood. Samuels is also the founder of Samuels Media, which finances and produces feature films.

Entertainment executive delivers Balfour diversity lecture Suzanne de Passe delivered the College’s 3rd annual Balfour Distinguished Lecture on diversity on April 19 in the Semel Theater. About 100 students, faculty and invited guests attended de Passe’s lecture, in which she discussed the challenges and obstacles she has overcome during a 40-year career that

has made her one of the most influential AfricanAmerican women in the entertainment industry. The event is supported by a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, which is managed by Bank of America. The lecture was sponsored by Emerson College and was hosted by the College’s Center for Diversity in the Communication Industries.

From left are Executive Director of the Center for Diversity in the Communication Industries William Smith, Suzanne de Passe, Boston public relations executive Colette Phillips ’76, MS ’80, Dean Grafton Nunes of Emerson’s School of the Arts, and Emerson President Jacqueline Liebergott.

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I

Readers

World,

f you are one of the millions of people in a book club in the U.S., you know they’re hot. From 2001 to 2005 book club participation increased 25%, growing from 4.6 million to 5.2 million adults, according to the survey firm ICR. And that’s the low end of the estimates. Diana Loevy, author of The Book Club Companion, estimates that close to 20 million people in the U.S. belong to a book club, some even participating in more than one. “The exponential growth in the popularity of book groups means that whatever your age, gender, profession or faith, you can find the book club for you,” reported U.S. News & World Report in December.

of the

by Christopher Hennessy

Unite!

Book clubs are a new force the publishing world can’t ignore


“Your focus can be to socialize or Whatever the reason, book clubs to network; to foster understanding of can give authors – from emerging your own or other faiths; to feed a writers to award-winning veterans – a passion for mysteries, a yen for boost all the way up the best-seller list. romance novels, or a desire to study When Kathleen Rooney, MFA ’05, was Proust or Shakespeare,” according to researching her book Reading with the magazine. Oprah: The Book Club That Changed Perhaps it’s the social aspect of America, she says she was surprised by the book group that has helped make it “how much power book clubs can wield. such a powerful phenomenon. After all, Obviously, Oprah can make an author reading is normally a solitary act, but into an overnight millionaire, but book clubs give readers a communal independent book clubs, if they really space to share their passion and rally around an author… can have a discuss their opinions about their similar impact on a grassroots scale,” favorite books as well as providing Rooney explains. She cites Jodi Picoult, resources and recommendations for author of 14 novels, as an example of a more leisure reading. “With more writer who has benefited in this way. people surfing the web (a solitary “Book clubs are incredibly pursuit) and fewer people going out to important, if you can get a good club [to theater productions and film, the clubs adopt a book],” agrees Suzanne give people a reason to get together and Donahue ’80, associate publisher for talk,” says Emerson Publisher-inFree Press, which handles authors as Residence Gian Lombardo. diverse as Dr. Phil McGraw and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (author of the bestselling Infidel). Donahue coordinates most of the marketing efforts for the Simon & Schuster division. “When you can get a book picked up by book clubs and word of mouth can start working, it can make the book huge – without any marketing,” she explains. Donahue points out that The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards sold almost 1 million copies “mainly through word of mouth with the book clubs.”

Alexis Washam ’02, associate editor for Viking Penguin, also cites Edwards’ novel as a book club hit. (Washam works with authors like J.M. Coetzee, Julia Alvarez and short story writer William Trevor.) “It really was just people talking about the book, and particularly independent booksellers, that moved this book up the best-seller list,” she says. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini are two more examples of books that greatly benefited from book club support, says Donahue. It’s no secret that word of mouth drives book clubs. According to a Paz and Associates Survey, book clubs rely on recommendations from other book clubs for their selections, and the average book club member reads 36 books per year, with a dozen of those being book club selections. (As a comparison, the average American reads 5 books per year, reports Gallup). As book clubs have become more popular they’ve also become more diverse. “Some are built on common

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better than word of mouth marketing, where one reader tells another reader that she really ought to try reading this book. So the book clubs themselves generate intense word-of-mouth communication, not just among members of the book clubs but with their families, neighbors, friends and co-workers.” Publishers, in fact, actively court book groups to adopt specific titles. “Every publisher has a marketing angle interests (finances and investing) or for the book clubs,” says Donahue. The Oprah effect genre fiction such as romance or sci-fi,” Alumna and author Rooney believes “Simon & Schuster has what we call the said Lombardo, who likens these to “a Book Club Reader [an online book club Oprah’s wildly popular club has more modern version of the salon.” resource and email newsletter]. And we “revolutionized reading in America Publishers Weekly recently wrote about a have a group of people we call the Book insofar as it has cultivated an active book club for young adult readers Club Advisory Board that we reach out readership among individuals and called Not Your Mother’s Book Club. A to with books that we think would be groups who might otherwise not have group of women from various religious good.” picked up a book. [Winfrey] has made faiths started a Cambridge, Mass., “There are a lot of smaller book reading a social and unintimidating group on religion-focused books, groups throughout the country, and our activity, and as people read ‘Oprah reported U.S. News & World Report. The publicity department does a really great Books,’ they also read other books; Seattle Times notes a few others: a job getting in touch with people who she’s opened the door on reading to a group known as the Armchair Chefs are book group coordinators,” says huge segment of the population that who review cookbooks; New York City Viking Penguin’s Washam. “We send had previously been ignored or would-be playwrights who read out novels that we think would appeal overlooked.” published plays as well as their own to them,” she says. Both Donahue and The Free Press’s Donahue sees work; a mother-daughter group for girls Oprah’s club as the “holy grail” of book Washam cite the Pulpwood Queens in between 9-12; and a group called Pages, clubs. “When Oprah backs a book, it Texas as one of the biggest, most Pictures and Pints that meets to talk influential book clubs in the country. has a huge impact,” she says. “For one about books that were adapted into thing, she doesn’t just pick books out of The group, started in a hair salon, movies, view a film and then meet to believes itself to be the largest “meeting the air. She really has such an honesty discuss both at a local bar. and integrity in the choices she makes.” and discussing” book club in the Donahue has found there are country and has chapters around the Rooney agrees. “Even Cormac McCarmany romance-reader book clubs, as U.S. and even in other countries. Every thy [whose book The Road was Oprah’s well as groups that read only mysteries month each book club chapter reads latest selection] who was already, by and those that focus solely on fiction or the same book and meets to discuss it – anyone’s definition, a well-known nonfiction titles. There are also groups with members wearing a mandatory author, saw his sales numbers skyrockthat host “theme” nights, for example, a et after Oprah announced her choice.” tiara. “They have an incredible amount group that read Like Water for Chocolate of influence in terms of sales and word His publisher rushed an additional and then cooked up the foods found in of mouth,” says Washam. Donahue 950,000 of the post-apocalyptic novel Mexican writer Laura Esquivel’s quirky cites BookSense.com, a family of into print, Rooney reports. The Road novel. independent-bookseller websites, as won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction just another influential resource. weeks after Winfrey selected it. Emblidge, who has more than two Publishers, of course, see a rise in decades of experience as a book editor book club popularity as a marketing boon. David Emblidge, associate profes- and publisher, agrees that publishers sor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson, says, “There’s still nothing 8 Expression Spring 2007


Just the Facts, Ma’am Book clubs flock to true tales more than ever

are taking note of book club influence; he points to the fact that top trade publishers are including in their books suggested club discussion questions. It has become common for publishers to include everything from reader’s guides to book club discussion prompts and even author interviews at the back of paperback editions to make books more appealing to book clubs. Bestseller The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd was one of the first books Washam noticed, back in 2003, with a reader’s guide in back. She finds that resources like these “not only give readers insight into the author, where the author was coming from when he or she wrote it, but they also help spur discussion.” These resources are often found online at publishers’ websites as well. The web can also help booksellers create reading audiences. Lombardo adds that just last fall Barnes & Noble started its own online book club, what Lombardo describes as “a way to move membership from a handful or a couple dozen to thousands.”

What do books about a young girl murdered in New England, a group of M.I.T. students who use mathematics to beat Vegas, and a memoir about a woman’s upbringing by eccentric parents all have in common? According to Emerson alumni in publishing, they all make great book club selections and are among the nonfiction books selected by large numbers of book groups.

Donahue agrees that books with engaging ideas and themes often make superb picks. “You have to have a book that starts a discussion,” she points out. “The more layers there are to the story, the more ways there are you can talk about it, the deeper the discussion; and everybody in a book club, however large it is, brings their own background, their own preferences, and their own points of view.”

“I think people are interested in getting personal stories, whether fictional or nonfiction,” says Alexis Washam ’02, an associate editor at Viking Penguin. She notes that commercial fiction has traditionally done best with book groups but that more and more clubs are selecting provocative nonfiction titles.

“Book club people in general – and in Oprah’s Book Club in particular – tend to be smart, inquisitive and interested in empathizing with the world around them and with their fellow human beings,” says Kathleen Rooney, MFA ’05, author of Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America. Books that allow readers to explore the “psychological evolution of a person and how they become who they are…really resonate with book club readers,” adds Washam. An example of one of the more popular titles like this is Girls of a Tender Age, a memoir by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith that Donahue reports has been widely selected by book groups. Smith blends her own childhood growing up in 1950s Hartford, Conn., with her research on Robert Nelson Malm, who raped and murdered one of her fifth-grade classmates and was executed for his crimes.

Bringing Down the House, a nonfiction book about a cadre of M.I.T. students who beat the Las Vegas casinos, began its climb to popularity through word of mouth, says Suzannne Donahue ’80, associate publisher for Simon & Schuster’s Free Press division. “It’s become a huge book club pick, because it’s a good story,” she says. “And if you’re like my book club, at the end you get to figure out who would star in the movie version,” she laughs. (The film version recently shot scenes around the city of Boston.) For Washam, the book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider, by Ishmael Beah, is a perfect example of a work that book clubs have been attracted to. The book is a gripping, true tale of the author’s early life as a boy solider in the African country of Sierra Leone. “I think people are interested in learning about the world around them, and if they can get personal stories that way, then it still lends to the book group discussion,” Washam says. She finds that books like Beah’s will allow book groups to “discuss wider trends throughout politics and culture….”

One of the most popular nonfiction book clubs selection has been The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The book, about the author’s experiences being raised by eccentric, nomadic parents, has begun to be adopted by teens; schools across the country have placed it on recommended reading lists, says Donahue. “The breadth of that story reaches across generations,” she explains, making it a much-loved selection. – C.H.

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Recent Top 10 Book Club Bestsellers 1. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd: A Novel by Jim Fergus 2. The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris 3. Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge 4. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion 5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides 6. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls 7. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson 8. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards 9. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini The list, updated monthly and compiled by BookMovement.com, shows which books are selected by book clubs. The site was founded in 2001 “to give book clubs a way to recommend books to each other on a national level.” BookMovement.com also boasts 800+ original reading guides. The guides include publisher-provided discussion questions, an email link to the author, and web links to author and publisher websites.

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Meet the author But the ability of book clubs to promote books is “only a part of that intangible word of mouth [effect],” says Donahue. She points out that publishers “still do rely on publicity from television shows like the Today show and Oprah, from coverage in magazines like Vanity Fair, and, of course, book reviews.” These media are what often influence the “early adopters,” she says. Washam notes that even snagging good book reviews has never been a guarantee for increased sales. With the declining number of newspapers running book reviews and the vanishing of whole book sections in major papers across the country, the book club has taken on new importance, argues Donahue. “In the past three years, all of the book review sections of newspapers have gotten smaller and smaller and smaller,” she says. “They just eliminated the Atlanta JournalConstitution book editor position,” just as the Los Angeles Times reduced the

number of review pages. The end result is that there are “fewer and fewer places for people to get trustworthy information about new books,” Donahue says. But newspapers aren’t wholly to blame for the lack of book coverage. “Unfortunately, as marketing dollars have gotten tighter and tighter, people aren’t advertising locally the way they used to in the book sections,” says Donahue. Without ad revenue, then, the book review section is the first thing the newspaper cuts, she explains. Donahue argues that book clubs “have actually taken over a lot of the original review coverage people used to rely on.” Authors now are also watching out for themselves. Another trend has been the author visit in which a book club will host the author of the book they’re reading. Emblidge says that “most authors are frustrated with sales results” and have had to take publicity and marketing into their own hands, including visiting or talking with book


clubs. “Most authors are receptive to that,” Washam believes. “It gets the word out there, you get to connect with readers, and readers are really excited to meet the author.” Having that connection to the writer spurs more word of mouth, which in turn spurs higher sales. Adriana Trigiani’s book Home to Big Stone Gap was “pushed up to bestseller status by doing that,” reminds Washam, who points to Trigiani as a breed of writer who can be “tireless” in their efforts to seek out “new avenues to find new readers.” Trigiani told the New York Times that during the last five years she had visited about 50 book clubs in person and talked to more than 700 via telephone conference calls. Lombardo adds, “I think most publishers would encourage their authors to work with book clubs as a way to promote their books, instead of an author tour, which has very limited payback these days.” The Times noted that many writers say they are available for clubs on their author websites and that publishers “have institutionalized the practice: at HarperCollins, for example, an ‘Invite the Author’ program allows clubs to request phone conversations with particular writers.” Lombardo recalls that novelist John Shors’ novel Beneath a Marble Sky actually included a note in its pages saying he would be available to meet with or talk to book clubs. Shors has said he hopes to visit (in person or

online) 1,000 clubs in a year’s time, according to Newsweek. “Publishers will encourage more of their authors to do the same until we get over-saturated and move on to other promotional means,” said Lombardo. As for readers, “If you’re in a book group and you get to talk to a novelist [of the book you’re reading], it’s a rare treat and pleasure, especially if you’re in a small town in Kansas,” Emblidge points out. Washam of Viking Penguin believes that the personal connections book clubs forge in their various ways mean good things for the state of reading in America. “Everyone’s always concerned about the decline of reading in general,” she says, “but it’s nice to know that not only are people interested in reading books but are still interested in talking about them, too.” For Washam, when readers pick up books, share them with others and bring their voices into a discussion about literature, “that gives literature and contemporary books so much more of an impact on our culture.” E

Some online resources for book clubbers

Websites about joining, forming and running book clubs: bookreporter.com, readinggroupguides.com, and goodbookslately.com The Oprah Winfrey Book Club: www.oprah.com/books/books_landing.jhtml The Pulpwood Queens Book Club (hugely popular book club): www.Beautyandthebook.com/pulpwood.htm The “One Book” projects (community-wide reading programs): www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/one-book.html ReadersCircle.org, “an online directory for book clubs, reading groups, and literary salons of all kinds” BookSense.com, a family of independent-bookseller websites and the e-commerce arm of the American Booksellers Association’s Book Sense program Readinggroupchoices.com, a site that “selects discussible books and suggests discussion topics for reading groups and even produces a printed guide annually that is distributed nationally to libraries, reading groups, book stores, community book festivals, and to individuals” Paperbackswap.com, one of several sites where readers can swap books for free and discuss their favorites

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New technologies boost WERS Radio’s status with high-definition broadcasting, a new Internet talk radio station, and satellite programming

Into the Stratosphere

12 Expression Spring 2007


E

by Christopher Hennessy

merson’s student-operated radio station WERS (88.9 FM) has been named number one in college radio by The Princeton Review for the past six years and in 2006 was named “News Station of the Year” by the Associated Press. Perhaps its success is due in part to its ability to incorporate the latest advances in the radio industry. WERS enters the 21st century with ventures in satellite radio, streaming web radio and high-definition broadcasts.

WERS and XM Radio collaboration XM Radio, America’s number-one satellite radio company, with more than 7.6 million subscribers, recently selected Emerson’s WERS as the first college station to be highlighted as part of its Student Exchange Program. “The monthly series will feature the nation’s best college radio stations and DJ’s delivering unique branded shows highlighting the best in college music,” according to a statement from XM Radio. “This puts WERS on a national stage,” said WERS General Manager Jack Casey ’69. “XM reaches an international audience. We’re very honored that they chose us to be the first station for the program. And now they’ve invited us to furnish them with a show on a monthly basis.” The Student Exchange Program premiered in April on XMU, XM’s indie/college music channel (XM Channel 43). Casey describes the music the DJ’s are playing for the program as “representative of the WERS slogan, ‘Music for the Independent Mind’,

which includes indie rock, some folk, and singer-songwriter [music].” The selections, he says, are specifically aimed at college-age audiences. “The students [at WERS] love it, they love the idea [of working with XM],” Casey added. “Any time they have a chance to be heard by more people it’s great for them.” Origins of a radio team The partnership with XM began after Stephen McDonnell ’85, operations manager for XM, participated in an oncampus alumni event and mentioned to Director of Alumni Affairs Barbara Rutberg ’68 his interest in involving Emerson with XM. Rutberg put McDonnell in touch with WERS’ Casey, and the two worked with XMU Program Director Billy Zero to develop the partnership. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM’s 2007 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, 13 Expression Winter Spring 2006 2007


talk radio, comedy, children’s and entertainment programming, and traffic and weather information. Besides McDonnell, the other alumni working at XM studios include: Lisa Ivery ’90, program director, The City; Cathy Carter ’84, on-air host, XM Café; Leigh Hamilton ’76, music director/air personality, Soul Street; and Matt Baldassarri ’98, music director/air personality, 50s on 5.

“ETIN features a blend of music, news and live talk radio,” according to the network’s press release. “It is the only station at Emerson where listeners can take an active role, by instant messaging ‘ETINstudio’ or calling (617) 824-8100 to discuss topics live on-air.” Listeners can tune in to ETIN by logging on to etin.emerson.edu. Emerson sophomore Chance Dorland conceived ETIN. “I created ETIN as an organization that allows students to practice the craft and ‘We’re very honored develop a better sense of what is expected in the interactive talk radio that [XM] chose us to industry,” said Dorland, who serves as be the first station program director of the station. for the Student Exchange “Many of our students had asked us to provide a training ground for Program,’ says Jack working in interactive talk radio,” said Casey ’69, general WERS General Manager Casey, who is manager of WERS. the group’s co-advisor. “We [at WERS] had wanted to stream a separate talk network, and student TV station WEBN was preparing to launch its own online College’s online radio network debuts news outlet, and we decided to join Emerson College’s newest radio station, forces and create ETIN,” he explained. ETIN, was launched this past spring. “This is a good way for us to utilize Sponsored by WERS and WEBNresources from [various Emerson RTNDA, the Emerson Talk and student media] at the College.” Information Network (ETIN) is a webETIN has about 40 hours of live based radio station that has been programming per week, with hosts and streaming online 24 hours a day, seven a producer available to take listener days a week since January. During the calls. The station airs live news updates academic year, about 65 students work at 8:55 and 9:55 every weekday mornin five departments for the station. ing, as well as news and feature shows (The roster is reduced over the sumthroughout the week, “covering mer.) everything from global warming to ETIN is also part of Boston radio caffeine use among college students,” station WBOS’ “Radio You” project in said Dorland. “Since ETIN is the first which area students offer programstation of its kind [at Emerson], we ming for WBOS’s secondary HD have a lot of freedoms that other channel. organizations can’t offer,” said Stacy Hunsberger ’07, news director.

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“The students care about the world as well as their backyard and it shows in their reporting,” says co-adviser Associate Professor of Journalism Marsha Della-Giustina. “They have been in New Hampshire covering the presidential candidates. Their Oscar specials, driven by the WEBN staff in Hollywood, were groundbreaking.” The program line-up also includes a morning show, sports coverage (including broadcasts of the Emerson basketball games live from the Piano Row Gymnasium), a program called Poli*Talk, and a show about relationships called Intercoursing, which utilizes a doctor and two nurse practitioners from the Sydney Borum Jr. Health Center in Boston. “Every idea we’ve had has come from a student,” said Dorland. “I think that’s a great tribute to the people we have working on this.” The ETIN studio is headquartered in the basement of the Ansin Building (180 Tremont St.) and shares space with the WERS newsroom. “ETIN is not limited to just Emerson College students,” notes Dorland, who adds that he is “interested in speaking with alumni or anyone interested in developing a show for the college talk audience.” WERS goes high-definition Last year, WERS joined the ranks of the most cutting-edge radio stations by broadcasting in HD (high definition). The new capability was the result of an HD transmitter installed at WERS.


‘Our broadcast is near CD-quality for listeners with a highdefinition receiver. That’s a major benefit,’ says Casey. “Our broadcast is near-CD-quality audio [for listeners with an HD receiver],” says WERS General Manager Jack Casey. “That’s a major benefit for listeners, that they can hear sound quality as good as satellite radio can deliver but without a subscription cost. More and more people seem to be interested because they realize the fidelity is better in HD.” There are other advantages as well for both listeners and the Emerson students who work at the station. “We also see the opportunity for more programming diversity, because HD allows for a second and third, and eventually up to six or eight additional channels, that owners of terrestrial stations [with HD] will be able to provide,” explains Casey. Once the WERS audience listening in HD reaches a “critical mass,” Casey says that will allow WERS to add a second HD channel. “That means more format diversity and more opportunity for students in the future,” he said. One possible use for an additional HD channel is programming various genres of music. “For example, our Standing Room Only [show tune programming] is very well received in the Boston area,” says Casey, “so what if there were enough response to launch an entire second channel exclusively programmed with show tunes?” Casey adds that a cappella or world music – genres that no one else in the Boston market provides – might be options as well. The HD upgrade will also give students a chance to learn about the exciting new technology, says Casey. For

example, broadcasting in HD requires on-air talent and technicians to adapt to a slight time lag and other differences. Casey believes this opportunity will prepare students for working in cuttingedge environments in the real world. Live and unplugged In other WERS news, the station kicked off its annual Live Music Week this year in a new way. In March, WERS produced “All A Cappella Live” at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, a concert and competition broadcast live on WERS. Four local a cappella groups performed to a sold-out house, making it the biggest a cappella event in the history of Boston, according to organizers. The concert was broadcast live to 15,000 listeners. All A Cappella hosts Julia Avanti and Emma Evans (a.k.a. Emerson students Juliet Nuzzo ’07 and Emily Belyea ’08) introduced the live sets by Brandeis’ Voicemale, Harvard’s Lowkeys, M.I.T.’s Logarhythms, and Tufts’ Beelzebubs. The concert was made possible through the help of students in Emerson’s Performing Arts Department and the Department’s Director of Production Bonnie Baggesen. E

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College graduates

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1,000

sunny day and mild temperatures welcomed the graduating seniors at the College’s 127th Commencement exercises in May. Family and friends watched the roughly 1,000 graduates receive their Emerson College baccalaureate and graduate degrees during back-to-back ceremonies on May 14 at the Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston (formerly the Wang Center). Tom Freston, a media industry innovator who helped create the MTV Networks, presented the undergraduate address. The critically acclaimed writer Walter Mosley, author of the popular Easy Rawlins detective novels, gave the graduate remarks. Freston and Mosley received honorary doctoral degrees along with philanthropist Ted Cutler ’51, chair of the Emerson Board of Trustees, former Emerson Vice President for Administration and Finance Robert Silverman, who played a lead role in the

in spirited ceremonies Photos by Frank Monkiewicz and David Rosen

creation of the College’s new campus; and Ian Bowles, the Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs, who worked for President Clinton. At the undergraduate ceremony, assembled students thanked friends, family and faculty with rounds of applause. Graduate students cheered each other on as they received their degrees in the afternoon ceremony. The event was also broadcast live for an overflow crowd in the Cutler Majestic Theatre and streamed live on the Web. Honoring the students President Jacqueline Liebergott took a moment to speak directly to the undergraduates, beginning with congratulations to salutatorian Joseph Mancuso, a theater-film double major who graduated with a 3.96 GPA and who had producing roles at the EVVYs (student awards ceremony) and the Emerson Channel. Liebergott then led the graduates down a timeline of changes that the world has faced during their four years at Emerson, from technological

advances to social and political touchstones. She noted the world they face includes genocide in the Darfur region of Africa, war in Iraq, and nuclear proliferation threats in Iran and North Korea. “The challenges you will face when you graduate today are daunting,” she said. “But the opportunities to make a difference are equally great.” Liebergott congratulated the seniors on their many accomplishments while at Emerson and urged them to take what they had learned and to continue their pursuit of excellence. Liebergott also noted her pride in the dedicated seniors who worked on community service projects such as Habitat For Humanity. She acknowledged student leaders, student comedians, award winners in theater, film editing, and journalism as well as the cast and crew of the EVVYs. Lastly, she congratulated the women’s softball team “who made

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Left to right: Tom Freston, who helped create the MTV Networks, delivers the Undergraduate Commencement Address; Robert Silverman, the College’s former vice president for administration and finance, accepts an honorary degree; Jennifer Boyden was the undergraduate valedictorian.

Emerson history this month” when they won their conference title and became the first Emerson team ever to play in an NCAA regional tournament. Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Moore introduced the Class of 2007 valedictorian, Jennifer Boyden, a writing, literature and publishing major who graduated with a near-perfect GPA. She was also the starting catcher for the women’s softball team.

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Wit and wisdom Freston, Commencement speaker at the undergraduate ceremony, delivered a dynamic address peppered with humor and words of wisdom from his years traveling the globe and working in a variety of jobs and fields. “A career path is rarely a path at all,” he mused. “A more interesting life is usually a more crooked, winding path of missteps, luck and vigorous work.” Freston urged students to “follow your bliss” per Joseph Campbell’s call, and to “find what you can do better than anyone else can.” He told students to seek out “sharp left turns and even illegal U-turns” in their journeys, and said a well-worn passport carries stamps that are “tattoos you won’t regret.” Freston urged students to “maintain your curiosity, broaden your interests, continue to follow the cultural flow…and stave off obsolescence and prolong adolescence.”


Below left to right: Ian Bowles received an honorary degree; graduate speaker Luke Pellegrini delivers his address. Emerson Board of Trustees chair Ted Cutler ’51 celebrates the graduation

of grandson Jeffrey Cutler from the graduate program in inegrated marketing communication. President Jacqueline Liebergott at the podium.

Graduate student rites Later in the day, Commencement speaker novelist Walter Mosley addressed the graduate students in their afternoon ceremony. In a passionate speech marked by a wordsmith’s cadences and emphatic rhythms, Mosley’s speech was a spirited and highly political call to action and to service. “Your work must benefit the world,” he said. He noted that “the world has been created by those who have lived in the past,” and urged the students to work against the control of previous generations and create a new and better world. The graduate student address was delivered by Luke Pellegrini, an undergraduate alumnus and the first organizational and political communication graduate student to be selected for the honor. Catered receptions were held below pleasant skies on Boston Common after the respective ceremonies giving students and their families a chance to take pictures, reminisce and meet faculty mentors. E

Walter Mosley, author of the popular Easy Rawlins book series, delivered a rousing speech at the Graduate Commencement ceremonies.

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artful use of imagination mixed with he city of Boston was placed on hard work.” high alert on Jan. 31, 2007. Was it due Guerilla marketing “[was deto a terrorist attack or a bomb scare? signed] so that small business owners Neither. The panic was set off by a could try to keep an even footing with marketing campaign for the Cartoon the big players,” says Douglas Quintal, Network program Aqua Teen Hunger lecturer in marketing communication Force, which required stashing Liteat Emerson. Brite signs in nooks and crannies In recent years, ad and promoaround the city (under bridges and near tional campaigns that take place on the train stations, for example), to create street – like the Aqua Teen Hunger Force visibility for the program. Lite-Brite brouhaha in Boston – have Similar stunts, one involving pink received big buzz. Another high profile plastic lawn flamingos planted all over campaign was an AirTran promo Chicago, are part of a growing trend in (devised by the Chicago agency Cramer‘alternative marketing’: advertising, branding, and promotions that draw on Krasselt) in which about 10,000 pink plastic lawn flamingos were placed all an ever-growing repertoire of creative over Chicago. campaigns, stunts and spectacles “The promotion is intended to (many happening in the streets) to remind Chicagoans at the end of a long reach consumers in an increasingly winter that AirTran offers nonstop saturated media field. One of the mostflights and low fares to sunny Florida,” talked-about new forms of marketing is known as ‘guerilla marketing’ – like the reported the Chicago Sun Times. But that’s only the beginning. A single teal Boston stunt – and often utilizes lowflamingo (named “Sunny”) was placed budget, high-impact methods. among the thousands for a lucky “Guerilla marketing needs to be Chicagoan to find – granting him or part of the overall marketing mix,” says her (and eight family members) free Kristin Patrick Petersen ’92, vice roundtrip tickets to Florida. Clues to president for brand exposure at Gap Sunny’s location were posted online, Inc. “It’s not something you can just and guerilla street teams posing as bird ignore any more.” watchers handed out fliers directing The fastest growing segment of the media sales economy are marketing consumers to the website. “I think [guerilla campaigns] do methods like guerilla marketing, wordproduce results,” says Patty Bovie, MA of-mouth, product placement in films ’95, vice president, brand and business and TV, and mobile marketing development, for industry leader webisodes, according to the 2006 Arnold Worldwide, a Boston-based fulledition of the Communications service marketing communications Industry Forecast released by Veronis agency. “[Street campaigns] get the Suhler Stevenson. product into the hands of the consumer, Faculty and Emerson alumni who which is what you want,” she says. have worked on well-known campaigns “Everything is about trial. If you believe for powerhouse agencies describe this in your product…you can convert new trend, talk about what’s behind its people on the spot.” growing success, and note some of the But employing street teams or most memorable and unique examples producing a marketing stunt at a train of alternative marketing. station isn’t enough. Quintal adds that “if you’re going to use the external Guerillas and flamingos landscape as your marketing canvas, Guerilla marketing, a term coined by make sure you register an impression.” Jay Conrad Levinson, who wrote While a junior at Emerson, David Guerrilla Marketing (first published in Everett put together a campaign for a 1983), is an unconventional way of final class project that ended up marketing activities on a very low making an impression in the real world. budget. Wired magazine calls it “the

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Need a creative marketing campaign? Call an Emersonian Alumni actors, comedians and others are bringing to life online marketing campaigns for products from bodyspray to beer to TV shows. “The only reason I’ve had any success in the past nine months has been because of…alternative marketing,” says actor Jayk Gallagher ’04. His first foray into the industry came when he was cast in an MTV/Motorola campaign – an internationally released “mobisode” [an episode on a mobile phone] called “Head and Body.” It was a $75 million deal between the two companies and [was covered by] Hollywood Reporter,” he explains.

even led to Stablehorn getting his own webpage on the Rolling Rock site. (The alum playing the beer exec for the outthere campaign has not publicly revealed his identity in order to maintain the realism of the promotion.)

Hadley Klein ’05, assistant to two of the executive producers of the hit TV show Veronica Mars, has been working to promote the show via an online viral marketing campaign. (‘Viral’ refers to a phenomenon wherein Internet users view and spread a webpage, email, video, etc. to the point where the viewership grows exponentially.) Klein told marketing industry publication iMedia Connection that his team After that experience, Gallagher shot a wanted to reach out to online fans more pilot of his very own show, entitled Jayk actively because “we have such a smart Gallagher Kills Hollywood. Determined online community – our fans are very to promote the vehicle, even without a tech savvy.” One route they explored distributor, he “translated that pilot into was the popular MySpace web video clips which I promoted [via community. “We…hope that our almost MySpace and the show’s own website].” 9,000 online friends link up with their Now he was becoming a pro in online many friends, essentially passing the promotions. “In the process of word about Veronica Mars along. I think promoting myself I learned advanced it’s just great to encourage the fans who skills in new media marketing,” he have been so committed to us for these explains, “[including] custom graphic past two seasons,” Klein told iMedia design, advanced MySpace page coding, Connection. Klein also notes the show and new techniques for continuous has writers doing frequent podcasts promotion by way of MySpace, YouTube (audio or video programs on the and the web.” Internet that are playable on demand). “We have filmed behind-the-scenes Another Emerson alumnus is the actor videos. We went down to San Diego and who portrays Vice President of shot some of the cast members in their Marketing for Rolling Rock Beer Ron daily lives, and it has been really fun.” Stablehorn. In nationally broadcast commercials (replayed on the Internet), In a completely different vein, alums Stablehorn, in a hilariously clueless Evan Mann ’01 and Gareth Reynolds ’02 deadpan voice, apologizes for various were hired by AXE Unlimited Bodyspray questionable (and fictitious) ads from and grooming products to promote its Rolling Rock, including one which product in a fun and original way. The shows an office full of men wearing two young alums came up with the idea thongs. The campaign has generated of a cross-country trek where the two Internet buzz and media coverage and would videotape themselves, often in humorous situations, trying to meet and impress young women. They also produced a video blog, a video game

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and even a book all based on their experiences. The work scored the duo a $25,000 paycheck as well as perks like tickets to Movieline’s Hollywood Life 7th Annual Young Hollywood Awards. Actor Gallagher has parlayed multiple advertising and promotional gigs into a veritable niche for himself. Most recently, he scored a commercial acting gig for one of the big three Silicon Valley computer companies, Sun Microsystems. However, he says, “upon arriving on set and shooting the commercial, I discovered that I knew more about new media marketing than the ad agency they’d hired and the representative from the company.” Gallagher not only served in front of the camera for the ad but developed his own ideas for it. “They ended up turning my ad into an ongoing Internet viral campaign, and hired me to continually shoot video blog entries, post text blog entries, and design and maintain a MySpace and YouTube page for them.” Gallagher plays the character Matt Bennett, “a hapless bank intern desperate to become an IT manager, with the ‘mad Internet skill’ to prove it,” as Gallagher puts it. He has also produced a “youth-oriented” fundraising campaign, seen on MySpace and YouTube, for a nonprofit organization called Hollywood Arts. And Al Gore’s cable network Current TV later commissioned five comedic clips from Gallagher. “My past new media marketing experience turned into a pretty darned lucrative venture,” he exclaims. “Since booking this job, other jobs related to my experience have been popping out of the woodwork.” – C.H.


Everett created a company called AdsOnFeet that produces wearable flatscreens. The “walking video billboards” project messages for all manner of products and services. “It seemed like face-to-face marketing on the street was an untapped market,” he explains. “You look around and everywhere there’s billboards, blimps in the sky, ads on top of taxis…your regular TV and radio.” But Everett realized the untapped market “was right there in front of me. It’s great because you can take it to trade shows, sporting events, pretty much everywhere. The big companies started to foam at the mouth; they loved it – and still do.” Everett tested a prototype of AdsOnFeet at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston when he became a walking, blinking billboard for Sen. John Kerry. “I remember being terrified that everyone was going to laugh at me,” he recalls. “The sun was going down and I was walking through Faneuil Hall where MSNBC had their live election coverage set-up.” A man approached Everett and asked, “How many of those screens can you get me and how quick?” Everett later learned the man was Jeff Zucker, now president of NBC. AdsOnFeet has been featured on MSNBC, the Today show, CBS News and in AdAge, AdWeek and many other media outlets. The company has partnered with the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune and has franchises all across the country, in Canada and even China.

Creating a buzz Street teams, stunts and spectacles are just one aspect of the rise of alternative marketing tactics and strategies. The gamut of new marketing trends includes word-of-mouth marketing (a trend that’s led to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association) and even “stealth” or “undercover” marketing (where consumers don’t realize they’re being marketed to).

“I think word of mouth is one of the most important things you can do,” says Bovie. She notes that Arnold Worldwide has an expert on-site who specializes in it. “There is nothing like an endorsement from a friend you trust – they know you and your tastes. You are automatically more open to it, and it’s usually a better fit.” Groups like Nielsen BuzzMetrics and The Keller Fay Group offer services that try to quantify ‘buzz’. “It’s becoming a big part of the industry,” says Jonathan Tress ’98, vice president and group media director for Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an agency known as tops in the field for its creative, nontraditional campaigns. Tress points out that guerilla tactics are especially effective at producing word-of-mouth buzz and argues that consumers don’t respond the same way to the traditional TV spot. “You’re not going to run out and tell other people about the commercial you just saw.” But consumers buzzing about a product “becomes free media for you,” he says. Bovie agrees, saying that guerilla campaigns can “create a tremendous buzz and sometimes major news coverage.” The Aqua Teen Hunger Force campaign in Boston, for example, led to coverage on nearly all major networks and in countless print publications; however, many experts agree the attention was for the wrong reasons. The Boston-based word-of-mouth marketing firm BzzAgent has 260,000 volunteers who submit detailed information about their habits and interests. The firm then uses the volunteers’ profiles to match them to campaigns for products made by companies such as Nestlé, Arby’s and Kraft. “The so-called agents are provided with information about the clients’ products and in return give detailed feedback about the conversations they have,” says Time magazine. Petersen at Gap Inc. says companies want to know, “Who are the customers who are going to generate the most buzz?” She points out that a division of Procter & Gamble called

Tremor has enlisted teenagers (225,000 at last count) to tell their friends about brands. P&G last year signed up 500,000 mothers for a program they call Vocalpoint, in which the moms volunteer to spread buzz about a range of P&G products. The company gives the women promotional materials and coupons, but they are free to say anything or nothing at all. Petersen, who works to infuse new ideas into Gap Inc.’s, traditional marketing plan, points out that the Intelligence Group (a data-gathering

A TON OF TONIC. Outdoor, or ‘ambient’, marketing campaigns have started popping up more and more in an effort to delight customers with the unexpected. European agency Duval Guillaume Antwerp created this working fountain for Schweppes.

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firm) is telling companies, “A brand needs to know its ‘blog status’ daily.” In other words, ‘How many bloggers are talking about your product?’ Petersen adds that many companies are even hiring someone to focus on Internet buzz. “They’re looking at what people are talking about [online]. That’s very different from the kind of publicity people are used to doing,” said Petersen. Online campaigns that ‘go viral’ (‘viral’ refers to a phenomenon in which Internet users view and spread a webpage, email, video, etc. to the point where the audience grows exponentially) are hot commodities for compa-

A CHICKEN THAT PERFORMS FOR YOU. Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an agency known for its nontraditional campaigns, created the Subservient Chicken website for its client Burger King. The site allowed users to type in any kind of command (dance, laugh, run) for the costumed chicken. The site received more than 400 million hits.

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nies, and now social networking sites average person is exposed to around likes MySpace and user-generated sites 6,000 commercial advertising meslike YouTube are being utilized to sages every day,” he adds. “We’re promote everything from indie bands talking about a bombardment.” to big-name brands. “It’s just hard to break through For example, Arnold creates with a 30-second TV spot any more,” campaigns for truth® (the youth smok- argues Tress, who has worked on highing prevention organization) that profile campaigns for Burger King and utilize MySpace. “The target audience Ikea, among others. He explains, “With for [the truth® campaigns] is spending media fragmentation – 200 channels, time on sites like MySpace,” so by everything from HDTV to DIY [Do-itposting content there and connecting yourself ] to Desperate Housewives – it’s users via a click of your mouse to a hard to find one place to reach people, website makes sense, says Bovie. “It’s so you’ve got to reach them at a lot of fishing where the fish are. It’s about different touch points.” smart targeting and cutting through Petersen, who has worked for the clutter.” Disney, Revlon and NBC Universal, The ongoing Dove Real Beauty notes that consumers’ lives and campaign, for example, took off by attitudes also pose challenges to appearing on YouTube. The Dove video marketers. “The marketplace is demonstrates how computer software jammed with all sorts of messages, and is used to significantly enhance the consumers have gotten a lot more savvy look of models, altering their images in about marketing,” she says. “I think profound, indeed unnatural, ways. our lives have gotten busier and we’ve “Dove definitely did something astonish- become really selective about what we’re willing to listen to.” Vogel agrees: ing with that,” says Emerson Associate Professor of Marketing Communica“The consumer is more and better tion Thomas Vogel, who has two equipped than ever before to find decades of industry experience. information, to find data, to read about Technology is taking marketing in other people’s opinions. So we have a strange new directions. An audio better informed potential customer “spotlight” device is being introduced than ever before.” into stores, broadcasting a signal to For consumers, that selectivity shoppers as they walk past products. means they want their messages For example, Court TV recently used personalized, says Pamela Block, MA the device to promote a new murder’05, senior account executive at New mystery show. It beamed a voice York’s Bite Communications, a directly at customers browsing the company with a mission to “deliver mystery section in select New York fearless and boundless” communicabookstores that whispered, “Hey, you, tions campaigns. “I think the growing can you hear me? Do you ever think trend of alternative marketing techabout murder?” Major companies like niques all comes back to the audience Procter & Gamble and Best Buy are wanting products to be available to testing the device, and it is already them in a design that seems made for being used abroad. “Some marketers them,” she says. “In a world overcrowdsay it is only a matter of time before the ed with messages to a general audience, technology takes off here,” reported the it’s the personalized ones that actually Boston Globe this spring. get through and make a difference.” Block finds that “too many people still ‘Brave new world’ for marketers seem to be stuck in the world of ‘if we Why are marketers turning to nontradi- build it, they will come’. Audiences are tional techniques in the first place? no different than anyone in a relationAdvertising spending has ship – they want to know that their increased, the number of brands is booming, “and everything has basically become louder,” says Vogel. “The


STEAL MY FURNITURE – PLEASE. Full livingroom furniture setups were created in train and bus stations around the United States and in Canada for an inventive Ikea campaign created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The furniture featured signs urging passersby to “Steal Me.” The message? The furniture prices are so low, it’s like stealing.

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Some of the Coolest, Craziest Campaigns Ever Anything goes in marketing today. Here are just a few examples of the new ways in which products and services are being promoted. 7-11 meets The Simpsons The 7-11 convenience store chain will be refurbishing some locations to look like Kwik-EMarts (a la The Simpsons fame) as a promotional stunt to coincide with the release of The Simpsons movie in July. ‘This newspaper will self-destruct…’ As part of a promotion for Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible III film, digital music devices designed to play the film’s theme song were placed in 4,500 news racks in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The devices caused bomb scares, and one arson squad actually blew up a suspicious news rack before word got out it was a guerilla promotion. Shot out of a beer cannon To promote Milwaukee’s Best Light Beer, a “cannon” shot beer cans at everything from an old TV to a vase of flowers. The cans were filmed in slow motion and the clips were posted on YouTube. Duped Super Bowl fans Light-up devices were smuggled in to Super Bowl XLI and given to ticket-holders who were asked to turn them on as part of the half-time show. When they did, the lights spelled out “Zug. com,” a prankster-comedian’s website. Aromatic marketing Five bus shelters around San Francisco featured Got Milk? posters equipped with chocolate-chipcookie-scented strips. These boots are made from...billboards Timberland boots created billboards made of leather and asked graffiti artists to cover the leather, which was then used to create special edition boots (see main story). Ikea-furnished train stations Bus and train stations in Boston, San Francisco and Toronto became mock living rooms in an Ikea furniture campaign (see main story). 26 Expression Spring 2007

needs are going to be met if they commit to a product or a company.” Petersen argues that the personal “connection” is definitely part of the equation. “Marketing is tricky now. It’s not just about putting on a cool TV ad. The whole notion of connection is the next big thing to conquer.” There’s also the technology factor. “As technology evolves, the way people consume media has changed tremendously,” believes Bovie. Even going back to the good old TV remote control, technology increasingly puts more control in the hands of the consumer. Time magazine, in an April 23, 2007, article, calls today’s environment “a brave new world for people whose job it is to sell you things, what with consumers’ TiVo-enabled ability to skip over ads they don’t want to see, and their Internet-empowered freedom to find out all the stuff left out of a cheery 30sec. TV spot.” Vogel adds to that list of challenges marketers face: AdBlocker [software that stops pop-up ads while surfing the Internet], the Do Not Call Registry, and the DVR, which allows viewers to digitally record their favorite programs and then fast-forward through commercials.

Bovie recalls a campaign Arnold Worldwide created for Timberland boots, an eco-friendly company that believes its customers “care about making their world a better place.” The company put up billboards, constructed of leather, in the Bronx and other boroughs, and then asked local artists to cover them with graffiti. The billboards were then cut up and turned into Timberland boots. “It brings out the media, makes people feel good about the brand, and it sells boots,” says Bovie. New research shows that “Gen Y” in particular wants to know what good a company is doing for the world, according to Petersen. “They’re looking for their brands to do something other than just sell products. That’s a trend that’s going to be continuing,” she says. Getting consumers interested in your product can also mean giving them something fun to do or see instead of giving them the hard sell. “I think it’s more about entertaining people, for example, rather than preaching to them, telling them what to do,” Tress believes. Vogel recalls the 2001 BMW Films campaign that utilized A-list Hollywood directors and actors in feature-quality short films Boots made of graffiti and showing BWM cars in exciting Internet chickens situations. The films were posted on Words like “lifestyle,” “relationship” the Internet and became a viral and “connection” are buzzwords in the phenomenon. “[BMW] wrote marketmarketing and advertising industry ing history with that,” says Vogel. these days. Experts explain that Tress worked on Burger King’s consumers won’t respond to being told “Subservient Chicken” campaign that to simply go out and purchase a insiders point to as a good example of a product. They’re seeking richer, more successful alternative marketing layered connections to companies, campaign. At a time when Burger King products and brands. was revamping its stores and product “I would argue there’s a huge line, they launched SubservientChickspace to get into a dialogue, a relationen.com, where customers could go to ship with customers,” says Vogel, “but view a chicken-costumed man and it needs to be done in a new way.” He make him perform stunts (dance, jump, uses the metaphor of consumers ‘reetc.) just by typing in commands. “At inviting’ advertisers back into their the time it was very revolutionary; homes. “It should be less of a ‘push’ people hadn’t really done anything like strategy, and more about relationships,” that,” says Tress. “It started when we he explains. “Ultimately, it’s figuring just emailed it to all of our friends to out, Does a specific brand fit into my see if they thought it was cool, and it lifestyle?” spread from there.” The website scored more than 400 million hits, and TV news networks gave the campaign extra


exposure. “It’s a classic example of a viral online campaign that went very well,” says Tress. The campaign wasn’t about telling customers to go down to the nearest BK for a sandwich, says Tress. “It was letting the entertainment factor get people to talk about [Burger King].” Of course, campaigns that take a product out into the real world often generate a lot of buzz. When Ikea was expanding into new markets, they turned to the Crispin Porter + Bogusky agency, where Tress worked on campaigns for the Swedish furniture maker. One campaign involved placing full living room furniture set-ups in bus and train stations with “steal me” signs on the furniture. When people picked up an item they wanted, they found stickers beneath that told them, “Unfortunately, you’re too late to steal this item, but fortunately Ikea’s prices are so great, it’s almost like stealing,” Tress recalls. “There are a lot of those local furniture companies that do their standard TV and radio [ads]. But this worked really well for [Ikea], it helped them break through.” Tress says campaigns like this can work “to surprise and delight people and get them excited about the brand and reach them in a different way.” In a similar vein, Arnold Worldwide placed an actual rock climbing wall on Boylston Street in Boston to promote its client Royal Caribbean cruise lines. “You couldn’t miss it!” recalls Bovie. Street teams handed out coupons and give-aways while passersby tried out the wall. The cruise line wanted Arnold to help it be seen as a company “for a more active vacationer,” in order to battle the prevailing image that cruisers were “the overfed, newly wed or nearly dead.” Arnold also created a virtual web tour of the cruise line’s ship Freedom of the Seas. “I really like the philosophy of building a mythology around your brand,” says Gap Inc.’s Petersen. For example, over the last 20 years, she says, Gap has used music in its campaigns. The company produced a

series of popular commercials that involved everything from pop music stars to swing dancers. The new challenge, she adds, “is how do we deepen that relationship? Should we do something [different] with music in our stores…to enrich the in-store experience?” says Petersen. “Consumers want deeper experiences with your brand, want to use your brand in different ways; they want it to have these different facets, and your marketing campaign delivers that.” How deep and different will marketers go? Probably as deep and different as necessary to capture consumers’ attention in our addrenched culture. E

NOW HAIR THIS! Arnold Worldwide created several popular campaigns for truth® (a youth smoking-prevention organization), often using social networking sites like MySpace to reach their target audience. “Hairy Mail” allows users to create and send messages to their friends, carving out words in back hair by using a mock hair removal chemical, also found in cigarettes.  

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Notable Expressions FILM Producer Anne Clements’ (’98) film Quinceañera won the coveted John Cassavetes Award, which honors films made for under $500,000. Quinceañera also won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Camille Solari ’95, currently working on a documentary about music legend James Brown, was recently profiled in Chain Reaction magazine. The magazine conducted a Q&A with Solari about her accomplishments in Hollywood. Her documentary will be called Life on the Road with Mr. and Mrs. Brown.

Andrea Janakas ’98, who recently directed the awardwinning festival favorite Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves, will now adapt the award-

Adam Hammel ’91 is a producer behind a new film starring Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River) and Emmy

indie at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Hammel began his career in Los Angeles working for the television show Entertainment Tonight. Bryan Wilson’s (’04) short film Windowbreaker, which he produced and acts in, played in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. (The Festival had nearly 4,500 short film submissions this year, but only 71 were selected to screen.) Wilson, a recipient of a Boston Globe Acting Scholarship, plays a white locksmith in the film, which is about a string of break-ins that occur in a racially mixed suburb. The film was shot over two weekends in Quincy and Randolph, Mass., and most of the cast were non-actors from those neighborhoods. Windowbreaker premiered at the Woods Hole Film Festival last summer and won the Audience Choice award at the New York City Short Film Festival in November.

Jen Kirkman ’96 has released a comedy album.

TELEVISION winning memoir The Last Time I Wore a Dress, by Daphne Scholinski. Harper’s Bazaar described the book as “a gripping account of a young girl’s sojourn in the looking-glass world of psychiatric institutions.” The memoir tells the story of a young girl in the Chicago suburbs, who, at 15 years old, is institutionalized for her ‘unfeminine’ behavior.

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Award winner Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos, The Matrix). His film, Canvas, tells the story of a family dealing with a mother’s decline into mental illness. The film has garnered numerous awards, including the 2006 Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film at the Sarasota Film Festival and the 2006 Jury Award for Best Dramatic Performance in an American

Mike Massaro ’92 has been named one of the pit reporters for ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup and Busch Series racing this season, where his reporting will be heard by millions. Massaro, who is the recipient of two Russ Catlin Awards (a top motorsports journalism award) will also be reporting

via ESPN’s SportsCenter and will serve as a contributor for NASCAR Now, ESPN’s racing information show. He will report his first Cup race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29. Dave Blass ’90 walked the red carpet at the Art Directors Guild Awards in February. Blass was the set designer for the Fox reality show Unanimous and is credited with designing the show’s unique “voting sphere,” the area in which contestants voted other contestants off the show, according to a recent profile of Blass in the Metro West Daily News. Blass’s work on Unanimous was nominated in the Variety Awards Show, Music or Special Documentary category and bears the distinction of being the first reality series, along with Hell’s Kitchen, to be nominated for an Art Directors Guild Award. Blass is now doing art direction on the hit CBS series Cold Case and is preparing for the fourth season on the reality weight loss show The Biggest Loser.

WORDS Trent Masiki, MFA ’01, was recently introduced to the PEN New England and Boston writing communities as part of PEN New England’s Discovery Evening. At the annual event established writers introduce those just breaking in, and the new writers are invited to read selections from


Brian Frazer ’86, MA ’88, has published a comic exploration of his own neuroses.

Dorothy Mains Prince ’70, MA ’79, performs one-woman shows on the lives of AfricanAmerican women. Mike Massaro ’92 is a reporter for some ESPN car-racing broadcasts.

their work. Masiki was introduced by Helen Elaine Lee. Masiki’s work, “Myth and Fire,” was listed in Best American Short Stories 2003 as one of the “Distinguished Stories of 2002.” Brian Frazer ’86, MA ’88, has published a new book that comically explores many of his own neuroses. HyperChondriac: One Man’s Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down was recently published by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster. A former stand-up comedian, Frazer has written for Esquire, Vanity Fair, Premiere, ESPN, Los Angeles and other magazines. Veteran Vermont journalist Anson Tebbetts ’87 has been named deputy secretary for development at Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. He will be in charge of development, marketing and promotion. He had worked at WCAX-TV as a senior reporter, and prior to that he was news director for WDEV radio. Tebbetts and his family live

on the Tebbetts’ 125-year-old, six-acre family farm in Cabot, known as Maple Grove Farm. He is a past president of the Vermont Associated Press Broadcast Association. Chad Reynolds’ (MFA ’04) poetry has appeared on the website Verse Daily, a highly regarded national site for poetry. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Swink, Washington Square, Meridian, and Puerto Del Sol. Mark DeCarteret ’90 has a new book of poems, (If This Is the) New World (March Street Press). His poetry has appeared in more than 200 publications, including AGNI, Atlanta Teview, Chicago Review and Sonora Review. His work has also been selected for several anthologies, including American Poetry: The Next Generation.

THEATER Bill Crawford ’05 has been tapped by Pittsburgh Improv to headline his own show, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Crawford has a regular guest spot on WDVE-FM 102.5 in Pitts-

burgh and is a graduate of the Improv Olympic School in Los Angeles. He was one of 10 contestants to perform at last year’s Pittsburgh Improv as part of a national talent search conducted by Comedy Central. Betsy Morgan ’03 made her Broadway debut in High Fidelity, cast as a swing for all six female roles. The new musical opened at the Imperial Theatre in December 2006. Alan Tulin ’76 joined the cast of the long-running Off Broadway show, Tony ‘N’ Tina’s Wedding. He plays the role of Vinnie Black, the master of ceremonies. The show has been running for 18 years. Its current home is Sophia’s on West 46th Street. Mark Overton ’80 has been working as an IATSE production carpenter, touring the country and working on Broadway. He currently is head carpenter on Wicked, and has been since the show’s inception.

PERFORMANCE Jen Kirkman’s (’96) recently released debut comedy album, Self Help, is the inaugural release for Aspecialthing Records, founded by Matt Belknap ’97. In addition, this spring Kirkman performed on VH1’s live action comedy show The Department of Acceptable Media, produced by Jack Black. The L.A. Weekly named her “The funniest comic you’ve never heard of.” Dorothy Mains Prince’s (’70, MA ’79) one- woman show Sojourns is designed to bring the lives of outstanding African-American women to students and community organizations across the country. Now, Mains Prince is creating an educational film series called Women of Distinction. She recently completed the first in the series, Phillis Wheatley: Make Her Black and Bid Her Sing. The historical monologue takes an in-depth look at Wheatley, the first AfricanAmerican to publish a book of poetry.

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Alumni Digest Los Angeles Emerson’s 7th annual Festival of Film and Video was held at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Los Angeles this year. The screening was attended by more than 240 alumni, parents, industry guests, and College trustees and overseers. Bob Gersh, co-president of The Gersh Agency and parent of a current Emerson undergraduate, was the festival host. “These eight works exhibit the extraordinary creative talents of the Emerson College community and demonstrate the broad range of approaches to visual storytelling the Emerson students so highly value,” said Jim Lane, executive director of Emerson’s Los Angeles Program.

The filmmakers are joined by Emerson President Jacqueline Liebergott, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Program Jim Lane, film festival host Bob Gersh, Mark Stewart ’77 (president of the Southern California Alumni chapter) and Assistant Professor Rob Todd.  

Lynn Ann Leveridge (left), Judyann (Johnson) Elder ’67 and actor John Cothran.

Boston More than 60 young alumni joined members of the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) committee for the 3rd annual Young Alumni Billiards Bash at Boston Billiards earlier this year.

30 Expression Spring 2007

Brent Jennings ’74, Eric Alexander ’78 and Chrystee Pharris ’98 attended the film festival.


Boston

Amber Haskins ’04 (front row, far left), who served for the last two years as Emerson College’s Alumni Relations coordinator, joins the incoming and outgoing members of the executive board of the Student Alumni Association at its year-end gala.

Student Alumni Association members, upperclassmen, graduate students, and alumni mixed and mingled as they learned the finer points of “Painless Networking” and “Gracious Dining” from Miss Mannersmith in March.

Film producer Aaron Ryder ’93 (at podium) returned to his alma mater in April to spend a few days meeting student organizations and speaking in classes as well as screening his new film, The TV Set, to a packed house at the AMC Loew’s Boston Common movie theater. Ryder was executive producer of the films Donnie Darko and Memento.

A group of young alumni recently participated in Emerson Action Day, a school-wide community service event coordinated by the College’s Office of Service Learning that sent students, faculty, staff and alumni to various locations across the city to volunteer in community projects. At the end of the day, the volunteers were invited to attend a luncheon to honor those student, alumni and community groups that regularly give back to the Boston community. Pictured are Krista Gundersen ’04, Danielle Reddy ’00 and Cori Mykoff ’03.

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New York About 100 students, faculty and staff participated in the New York Connection, spending a March day in Manhattan visiting Emerson alumni and other professionals at 17 different sites. More than 100 alumni who served as ambassadors to the city for current Emerson students took part in the closing reception. The offices of Alumni Relations and Career Services sponsored the event. Emerson Overseer Joe Cronin hosted the closing reception at DDB New York.

Howie Zwieg ’68 (center; behind TV camera), technical director for ABC’s All My Children, at ABC with visual and media arts students.

Steve Baltin ’68 (far right), former producer of CBS Radio’s World News Roundup, at the CBS Nightly News anchor desk with journalism students.

Rob Dixter, MA ’97 (front row, third from the left), on the set of MTV’s TRL (Total Request Live), which Dixter produces. Students met with MTV executives, including Dixter, during the site visit.

Washington, D.C. Baltimore/Washington, D.C.-area alumni gathered at XM Radio’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the launch of XM’s new Student Exchange Program through its XMU Channel, which featured Emerson College radio station WERS (88.9 FM) in its inaugural broadcast.   Jack Casey ’69 (center), general manager of WERS, joins a group of Emerson alumni who are current XM Radio staff, including (from left): Leigh Hamilton ’76, Steve McDonnell ’85 (host of the event), Cathy Carter ’84, Matt Baldassarri ’98 and Lisa Ivery ’90. 

32 Expression Spring 2007

Alumni and Jacqueline Cutty ’82, Ryan Koonce, MA ’04, and Hirofumi Nakano, MA ’03.


Class Notes 1934

1958

Minerva Bugen Auerbach celebrated her 94th birthday on March 12. Granddaughter Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer ’93 was proud to have Minerva attend her Emerson graduation. Minerva has three grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She resides in Garvey Manor nursing home in Hollidaysburg, Pa.

The fifth edition of the popular music appreciation textbook Listening to Music, co-authored by June August and Dr. Jay Zorn, has been released by Prentice Hall. June’s music from Reality, a family musical, is recorded and distributed by Childish Records/Tommy Dreams Music (ASCAP).

1945 Marjorie Sahs was featured in The Outer Circle, the alumni publication of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. She recently wrote a musical that was performed at the California Stage in Sacramento. “So at age 80, I’m still having a great time,” she writes.

1950 Margaret Fallon has a son who is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and has adopted several children from Ethiopia. Her other son designs homes for a living and has a store in Mexico. Her daughter is founder of a Sacred Heart Academy and has adopted three children.

1952 Naomi R. Levy is a retired speech therapist who has also had a passion working as a platform artist/entertainer. “Emerson provided me with excellent credentials and wonderful memories,” she writes.

After three years in the military, 10 years in broadcasting, 20 years as an official with the New York Racing Association and 12 with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Richard Hamilton says it is time to retire. He now volunteers with the Saratoga Springs Hospital and the local library.

Mort (’57) and Bonnie Glovin (’58) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 14. They were married a few months before Mort’s graduation. They have five children and two grandchildren. Mort’s 50th Reunion was this year.

1964 Warren Rhodes teaches a class each week called “Chairing a Meeting” for recovering alcoholics in early sobriety. The meeting is part of the “Discover” program and is held at the local hospital in Gloucester, Mass.

1962

1967

Hal Platzkere operated PR Connection, a marketing and communications firm, for more than 20 years. He is now director of communications marketing for CMG Capital Management Group. In his varied career, he was also a reporter and producer for CBS and is a Cleo Award-winning broadcast producer.

Thomas C. Sawyer lives on Sawyer Farm in Goshen, N.Y. Prior to that, Tom and wife Karen lived in California. They have three sons, one of whom graduated from Emerson in May, exactly 40 years after Tom graduated. Tom has been involved in business communications for the last 28 years. Tom can be reached at ksawyer@hvc.rr.com.

1963

1968

Craig Worthing has retired after more than 40 years in talk radio. Formerly married to Gloria Shaw for the past 12 years, he has been married to Raymond Ho, of Hong Kong. Craig has two children and two grandchildren.

Iris Groman Burnett and David Burnett directed and produced The Gefilte Fish Chronicles, a documentary that features Jordan Kai Burnett ’08. In a New York Times review Ron Wertheimer said,

“This record of a family and its joyful ritual is reality television in the best sense.” The documentary is a tale about a family that crosses cultural and religious lines to remind us of how families embrace ritual as they celebrate holidays.

1970 Steven Feldman is a senior account executive with Clear Channel Radio in West Palm Beach, Fla. “I do find myself missing Boston very much. I have been in South Florida since 1992. Where did the years go?”

1972 Bob Mackler, of Marlboro, N.J., is married and has three children. For the last 20 years he has been a post-production editor for the 50-year-old soap opera As the World Turns. In 2003 he won the Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Live and Direct-to-Tape Sound Mixing for a Drama Series.

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In Memoriam

1930 Dorothy Shirley Lewis of Salt Lake City, Utah 1931 Carolyn Johansen Leon of Fallbrook, Calif. 1932 Dorothy Street French of Ashland, Mass. 1935 Lois Huff Wheeler of Westwood, Mass. 1937 Rev. Frances Laura Christiana Muir of Delmar, Md. 1940 Elizabeth ‘Betty’ (Evans) Sullivan of Wilmington, Mass. 1941 Lorraine M. (Pillion) Geissler of Wakefield, R.I. 1941 Barbara T. Hayes of New Hartford, Conn.  1950 Moira Higgins Hannigan of Pompano Beach, Fla. 1950 Shirley Yerxa Perkins of North Easton, Mass. 1955 Joseph Xavier Ormond of Waltham, Mass. 1957 Ruthann (Gregory) Donelson of Mt. Morris, Mich. 1959 Marvin R. Tabolsky of Tarzana, Calif. 1959 Patricia Grier Weinberg of Windham, N.H. 1962 Frank P. Musone of Portland, Ore. 1965 Jane Ostrow Lazere of Portland, Ore. 1969 Joan (Yeselson) Adler Levin of McLean, Va. 1970 William Ostrowski of Stafford Springs, Conn. 1977 Barbara Terese Kitson of Somers, N.Y. 1977 John P. Glynn of Stoughton, Mass. 1980 Mitchell “Chip” Dirton of Atlanta, Ga. 1982 Ricardo Camacho of Cambridge, Mass. 1984 Nicholas D. Turco of Cambridge, Mass. 1990 Doreen (Lambert) Bramley of Woonsocket, R.I. 2000 Mark Holbrook of Weymouth, Mass.

1973 Bruce J. Starin’s company, International Television Format Consultants, was hired to travel to Ho Chi Minh City to produce a two-hour Saturday night television extravaganza from Italy called Ciao Darwin. It’s a huge game show with 100 contestants on stage, three hosts and dozens of stunts, Bruce says.

1975 Abby Altshuler received American Painting Contractor magazine’s Top Job Honorable Mention Award this year for a mural. She was one of just 10 painters in the country to receive the award.

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Marie Mainelli Langlois is a bereavement counselor at Carpenters Hospice and Palliative Care. She has also written books on anticipatory grief and pet loss. Marcie Mitler retired from dance in 1984 and opened a private therapy practice specializing in adults abused as children. Marcie is now returning to dance performance with the Elders Ensemble of Prometheus Dance.

1976 Dave Crawley has been the “KD Country” feature reporter at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh since 1988, winning nine Emmy Awards. He recently

Barney Bishop ’73 has been elected CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, an 87-year-old business advocacy group based in Tallahassee. He also was appointed by the governor of Florida to the Gubernatorial Fellow Board of Directors, which oversees a program that brings college students to intern in the Governor’s Office and Executive Branch agencies.

published two books of children’s poetry: Cat Poems and Dog Poems (both from Boyd Mills Press).

1977 Armen Garo had a role on the Sopranos as Salvatore “Coco” Cogliano. He said the show called him in after seeing him in The Departed, in which he played a gangster. He also worked with Donna Bloom ’77 on the film Underdog 2007. Armen would like to give a shout-out to his fellow Emersonians. He says he misses everyone and thinks of Emerson often.

1979 Kenneth Hartman works for Boston Scientific in Natick, Mass. He was recently appointed a manager for global sourcing technology and indirect, and is responsible for the strategic sourcing of all indirect products and services. Elizabeth Temkin recently accepted a position at Time Warner Cable in Westchester, Calif., as training coordinator/ learning and development.

1980 After returning from a sabbatical in Mexico, Europe and the West Coast, Peter Carzasty has established a new Manhattan-based cultural consulting firm, GEAH Ltd., specializing in strategic corporate/cultural alliances. For 23 years, Peter served as director of publicity for the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music. Richard Schreiber is a software developer/project manager by trade and just finished a major software application installation for the BBC. His daughter Katarina was born on Father’s Day 2006. He and wife Maggie have been married for “two and a half years of bliss.”

1981 Rochelle Joseph works as an image consultant and stylist for clients like Rescue Me, Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Boy Meets Grill. She has also dressed Philip Seymour Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Paul Giamatti. Trude Witham has started a jazz quartet called the Trude Witham Group.


1982 Martie Cook (BS ’82, MFA ’99) has published her first book, Write To TV: Out of Your Head and onto The Screen. Cook’s book meshes the creative and business sides of television writing and includes advice on how to break into TV writing from many successful Emersonians, including Jay Leno, Henry Winkler, Norman Lear, Kate Boutilier, Richard Arlook, Judy Tygard and Lucie Salhany. Philip A. Fortnam is serving in the Air Force in the Horn of Africa as part of the Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa. Fortnam is working as a combat photographer.

completed her master of arts in liberal studies from Empire State College at the State University of New York.

1984 Mary James was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Preschool Children’s Series as a producer for It’s a Big World.

1985 Maria T. D’Arcangelo-Lapides has been elected to the board of directors at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel-Air, Calif. It is the largest reform synagogue west of the Mississippi. She resides with husband Howard and their two children, Oliver and Max, ages 12 and 18.

Army Reserve Master Sergeant Chet Marcus ’77 (known at Emerson as Lee) received the Meritorious Service Medal for serving as the Sergeant Major of the 361st Press Camp Headquarters, a command and control public affairs unit. Chet was the chief of broadcast operations for the unit for four years. He has served in the Army for 22 years and works as the civilian media relations officer for the 77th Regional Readiness Command in New York.

1987

Thomas P. Smith was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture for Little Miss Sunshine as first assistant director. He is also first assistant director on the upcoming Warner Brothers film of Maurice Sendak’s award-winning book Where The Wild Things Are.

Kristine Frieswick Robinson is a freelance writer whose book, The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Boston, came out this year.

Jonathan Blum, his wife, Barbara, and daughter Lucy are proud to announce the birth of Nathan.

David Mazzaferro recently had a part on the daytime drama One Life to Live as a SWAT team arresting officer.

1983

Steven Bogart’s play, Alice in War, has been accepted into the New York City Summer Play Festival and will be produced Off-Broadway in one of the Theater Row theaters on West 42nd Street this July. The play is one of 16 out of 600 submissions to be accepted.

George Falkowski, MA ’87, who is sports anchor with News 12 New Jersey, was named one of five “distinguished alumni” this year by Kean University. He received his B.A. from Kean in 1983.

Rich Feinberg is senior coordinating producer and Mike Massaro ’92 is an oncamera pit reporter for ESPN. They are both central players in bringing live NASCAR coverage back to ESPN. Michelle F. Solomon has joined WPLG-TV, Ch. 10 (ABC), in Miami, Fla., in the newly created position of executive producer of Local 10 Interactive. She also recently

1986

Rachelle Todres-Nash writes: “Emerson College was an absolutely wonderful, enriching experience, but my best performance was at Massachusetts General Hospital on Oct. 23, 1997, when I gave birth to the most amazing person, John Jeremiah Nash.”

Galen Foard ’06 has been working for JibJab since April 2006 in marketing and customer support.

After 18 years as a freelancer in the film/video industry, Mitchell Rosenwald has opened his own production company, Magic Box Films, in South Easton, Mass. After nearly 20 years in radio and TV news, Anson Tebbetts left journalism for politics. Anson was appointed by Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont to serve as deputy secretary for development in the Department of Agriculture. Anson lives on his family farm in Cabot with his wife, Vicky, his son and daughter.

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Wendy Wheaton ’88 has a development deal to produce a DVD which includes dozens of interviews with stars telling of their struggles and journeys in life. It was selected as a finalist in the Hollywood Black Film Festival this year.

1988

1989

Janet Egan was promoted to a full-time on-air post at WBCN-FM Boston, overnights midnight to 6 a.m. She married Andrew King in Newport, R.I., in April 2005 and is expecting her first child in June 2007. She would like to say “hello” to all the Chi Delta Chi girls and WERS alums.

Elizabeth Casey was recently promoted to director of provider relations at Network Health.

Elaine (Daniels) Kantrowitz recently accepted a position at ADP in Parsippany, N.J., as a call mentor specialist (“this call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes”). She says after many years as a supervisor in a busy client services department she decided to take a job that will allow her to spend more time with her three children.

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Michael Isenberg is coordinating producer at Fox Sports Net Detroit. He comes to Michigan after nearly 10 years at ESPN. Mike, wife Elizabeth and their two children love living in the Midwest and would love to hear from classmates: mike. isenberg@foxsports.net. Peter Noss and his wife, Kathleen, have been living on Long Island since 1999. They are co-owners of a health food store in Westhampton Beach. In August 2004 they welcomed their son, Ethan Stuart. Peter is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Melville, N.Y. Friends can contact him at peternoss@ optonline.net.

1990

1992

Anna De Andrade graduated from nursing school in January and is licensed as a registered nurse in Massachusetts. She has a 7year-old son, Andrew.

Liz Ahl is beginning the second semester (of a three-year term) as chair of the English Department at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

After nine years in custom marketing, Diane HoyleMoran launched Emerald City Web Design and offers a new venture: Wicked Branding. She says her communications company offers a fresh, contemporary perspective on strategic marketing, branding, and marketing communications.

Dr. Jenn (Mann) Berman has just released her first book, The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids (New World Library). Jenn lives in Los Angeles with her husband and twin daughters.

1991 Caryn M. Andrews is proud to announce the birth of her daughter, Payton, on Sept. 15, 2005. Jennifer Hill Robenalt and her husband, Fritz Robenalt, welcomed their first child, Benjamin Emerson Robenalt, on Dec. 15, 2006, in Austin, Texas. Jennifer owns and operates Hoopla Media & Communications and Fritz is a musician and composer specializing in music for film and TV. Andrew Jackson’s feature film, The Discontents, was screened at four festivals in 2006; Silver Lake, Flint, Atlanta Urban Mediamakers and Midwest Urban. He is shopping four new screenplays, a Wedding Crashers-type comedy, a horror film, a dysfunctional family dramedy and a teen comingof-age film. He worked on the production staff of the 79th Annual Academy Awards.

James and Molly (’94) Ferguson are proud to announce the birth of daughter Lily Anne. James’ film Happy Holidays is finished, and he is submitting it to festivals.

1993 ZYZZYVA, a West Coast literary magazine, published two of John Chaisson’s literary postings from his LiveJournal site. At the end of 2005 Jonathan Hanst left Clear Channel radio and went independent to pursue voiceovers, copywriting and production full time in his studio. He and wife Kristen have a 3-year-old daughter, Zuzu, and are adopting a boy from Guatemala. Paul Joseph has been teaching communication courses at Methodist University since 1996. In 2006 he became chair of the department. He is also in the process of producing a video short. He is married to Ty Joseph, who, he says, has made him a much better man.


1994 Cara Di Bona Swartz writes: “My husband, Daniel, and I expanded our family of three to a family of five by joyfully welcoming our twin daughters, Kate Annabella and Phoebe Alexandra, on Feb. 16, 2006. Big brother Sam, 5, has adjusted well to his new sisters.” Longtime bachelor Mike Dunne is finally tying the knot. He proposed to former Channel 9 on-air personality Amy Katcher this winter. The avid Boston Red Sox fan presented the ring to Amy at Emerson. After being with Channel 9 in Chattanooga for 19 years Mike is now external communications manager for Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. Melanie Guerra is dividing her time between Boston and Steamboat Springs, Colo. She recently opened an art gallery in Steamboat Springs and continues to run her jewelry design company. She graduated from the Arts and Antiquities Connoisseurship program at Rhode Island School of Design in March. She would love to catch up with old friends: Melanie@ dreambigarts.com. Mary Kennedy and her husband welcomed a baby girl, Rebecca, on Nov. 4, 2006. Mary plays a recurring role on NBC’s ER as Officer Trudy Lange and will be touring with The Man Show this year.

Ann Moan Martini just celebrated the first anniversary of her own PR, event and publishing firm, Wright Martini Media. With clients in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, San Diego and Nashville, she travels often and loves it. She is enjoying life in Providence with husband Michael. Caitlin McCarthy’s script, Free Skate, made it to the semifinal round of the Cinequest Screenplay Competition. Free Skate was one of just 48 scripts to advance into the semi-final round of the competition. In 2006 Free Skate was a finalist in the Boston International Film Festival. It made it to the final round in a pool of more than 2,500 applicants. Carla Rudy is a professional puppeteer living in Los Angeles. Her work has been seen in the film Team America. She is working with musician Beck, puppeteering in his stage show. The six members of his band are each represented by a marionettetype puppet. The act has appeared on Saturday Night Live and in other media. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2004 Aaron Tap has successfully upgraded his music career to full time. He is currently working with three different bands as well as doing session work. Most recently he has been working with singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson. Last month they played a sold-out performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Jeffrey Wager ’95 recently worked as a director of photography for the Monterey Film Commission’s feature project Where’s Marty?, which includes notables such as Betty White, George Lopez, Tony Curtis and Ken Howard. Jeff is currently in development on a romantic comedy titled Stellar, which is slated for production this summer by Galactic Pictures.

David Valdes-Greenwood’s first book, Homo Domesticus: Notes from a Same-Sex Marriage, has been released by Da Capo Press. It is a humorous memoir about his marriage and new parenthood. The publisher has already signed David to a second book deal for A Little Fruitcake: A Boyhood in Holidays.

1995 Nicole Deveau and William Terrell announce the birth of their first child, Matthew Deveau Terrell, on Feb. 27, 2006, in Boston. Nicole is managing editor for Travel New England newspaper in Boston. She also developed the company’s annual travel writing seminar taught at Emerson’s Kasteel Well campus with co-worker and Emerson alum Colette Bachand ’89.

Nicholas Levis’ (’95) and his wife, Maria Panou, announce the birth of their daughter, Elektra Levis, on Feb. 28, 2007. Nick’s company, Ovie Entertainment, recently had the Chicago premiere of its movie Darkon, which tells the story of a group of people from the Baltimore area who spend their weekends as kings and queens of their live-action roleplaying world.

1996 After spending four years as a video producer for a not-forprofit organization, Nadine Fattelay is entering the real estate business. A French native, she is helping people

37 Expression Spring 2007


Jaimie Adler, MA ’97, just celebrated the seven-year anniversary of starting her firm, Bayleaf Communications, which specializes in restaurant and lifestyle clients. She has been the publicity chair for The Culinary Guild of New England; chosen to work on the 2002 Olympics PR campaign, Salt Lake City, Utah; and publicity chair for Taste of the Nation, 1998-2001; among other honors.

Law and Health. She passed the July 2006 Ohio bar exam and practices corporate law in Cleveland. Amanda Huotari is the new owner and executive director of Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris, Maine, a school and performance venue dedicated to physical theater and the creation of new work. Workshops include Linklater voice, eccentric performing, LeCoq technique and more. Melissa Liton recently accepted a position with Weber Shandwick Worldwide in Seattle as group manager. Prior to her new position, Melissa was employed at Kulesa Public Relations as a senior account executive.

relocate to Manhattan. On occasion, she does French voiceovers and continues to travel to France. She lives with husband Paul and their 4-yearold twins, Clara and Alberic.

Jonathan P. Soule is proud to announce the birth of his daughter, Elenor, on June 7, 2006.

Kriste (Brownstein) Gill and husband Nick announce the birth of their twins, Miles Joseph and Emma Olivia, on June 19, 2006. They reside in Connecticut, where Kriste practices speech and language pathology and is enjoying her new job as a mom.

Oren Stambouli left his job last year to produce and direct his documentary, Trust 22. The film is about manifestation – the power of intention and the mind. He traveled to South Africa, New Mexico, Miami and New York to interview people living this theory.

Amanda Nichols recently accepted a position as program coordinator at Partners Health Care in Boston. She was most recently employed by JetBlue Airways as a customer service crew member. Amanda plans to return to school to become a nurse practitioner.

1997

1999

2000

Matt Belknap just produced his first CD from the comedy record label he started, Aspecialthing Records, which is an outgrowth of aspecialthing.com, an online comedy community he founded in 2001.

Lisa Allen Brown announces the birth of her daughter, Anna.

Lim C. Nehemia is the general manager for Piano Man Inc., located in Waltham, Mass., which is a large organ dealer. Lim is also directing music in Boston churches.

Jacob Hensberry just finished working on his 14th music video along with a short film called Look Alive, Mr. Kline. Jacob’s film screened at the Atlanta Film Festival.

38 Expression Spring 2007

1998

Anne M. Clark announces the birth of her daughter, Rosalyn. Pamela J. Gross is the owner, creator and publisher of Hollywood Community magazine. Evelyn Holmer graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She was editor-inchief of the C-M Journal of

Tressy Collier has been promoted to assistant director at the Blackstone Public Library in Blackstone, Mass. She was the children’s librarian for the past three years and says that although she has been promoted,

working with children will always be her first priority. She and husband Richard will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary in October. Jeremy Folster has a “beautiful wife, Colleen, and my awesome baby boy, Brady Luke,” born Sept. 16, 2006. The family lives near Providence and Jeremy works as a production coordinator on various films and TV shows. Michael Lolli is special events/production manager for Disney-MGM Studios. His responsibilities include major theme park events and all productions in-park and in the studio soundstages. Jim Mulvihill is director of communications and marketing at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. He is also in his sixth season picking horses as a public handicapper in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. This November he’s marrying a “lovely curator” he met in Dallas a few years ago. Marilyn Pryle, MFA ’00, reports her first book, Teaching Students to Write Effective Essays, has been published by Scholastic. She’s currently writing a second book about teaching at the middle-school level. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons, Gavin, 4, and Tiernan, 2.

2001 Jon Gursha is working at CBS Radio KTWV 94.7 (“The Wave”) in Los Angeles as an account executive. He is also working on producing a film. Jon is also part of


the creative team at Ostrow and Company seeking new films for distribution. Jon’s at Jon_gursha@yahoo.com. Megan Hanceford is a field producer/writer for the HGTV series Haulin’ House. She says, “If you see a house being moved in your neighborhood, check to make sure your old classmate isn’t running alongside the convoy!” Megan would love to hear from alums at http://www.myspace.com/ bomeggies. Rosamond Pope teaches at the KIPP Bayview Academy in San Francisco as the P.E. teacher and athletic director. There are two other Emerson alumni working at the school, Leyla Akincilar ’02 and Suna Akmese, MSSp ’02. Sonia C. Rincon recently accepted a new job as an anchor/reporter for WINS New York. Dan Sheehan is teaching audio production at the Institute of Audio Research at the City University of New York. He also recently released his third CD of music entitled The Dan Sheehan Conspiracy.

2002 Rene Ryan, MA ’02, has joined Imagination Publishing in Chicago, where she is editor of Discovery magazine, a quarterly publication produced for the YMCA. Marlene Tova Fineberg has completed her first book, Elephants, Alligators, Umbrellas: A Book of Poems for a FastPaced World. She is looking

for mentors/collaborators for other writing projects. She’s at scarlet139@juno.com.

2003 August Adams recently published a novel titled, National Darkroast Day. Sarah Flynn married Geoff Craig on Feb. 18, 2006. Ellen Berenson ’06 was among the wedding guests. Sarah is a senior account manager and strategic marketing manager for Data Communique. Geoff is the owner of Black Tie Painting and Restoration. They reside in Bradford, Mass.

Philip Fortnam ’82, U.S. Navy mass communications specialist chief petty officer, is serving in the Horn of Africa as part of the Combined Joint Task Force.

Nadia Salomon ’00 is adding another professional title to her resume: singer-songwriter. She worked as a TV journalist for several years at KTVF in Alaska, WFXB in Myrtle Beach, WXVT in the Mississippi Delta and WJTV in Jackson, Miss. Most recently she worked at WSHM, a startup in Springfield, Mass. Now that she has completed a demo of songs she has decided to pursue a career in music.

Josef H. Henschen has received his license as a certified technology specialist for Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting and engineering firm based in Atlanta. Dante Russo is performing in the professional regional premiere of Disney’s High School Musical at Atlanta Theatre of the Stars.

2004 Krista Gundersen and Vanessa Campagna ’03, who are thirdyear law students at Seton Hall University School of Law, won the National Child Welfare & Adoption Law Moot Court Competition this year. In addition, the national champions were awarded “Best Brief.” During the final round Gundersen was also named “Best Oralist.” Christine M. O’Keefe, MFA ’04, had a baby girl, Shea, on April 22, 2006.

John Ruggiero recently sold his first film, Marcus, to Warner Bros. Home Video in a direct-to-video distribution deal.

for ISO in Lawrence, N.J., and is working toward her Certificate of Interpretation with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

2005

Brittany Olson recently joined the production company, Unbelievable Entertainment. She is working with actress Eva Longoria, known for her role on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives.

Craig Kosnik, MA ’05, was accepted to Arizona State University’s Theatre for Youth Ph.D. program on full scholarship. Craig will be moving to Tempe this summer. Meredith Mercandetti is engaged to Sean Devine. They are planning a 2008 wedding. Meredith works as a marketing account manager

Linnea Toney accepted the position of conference director of the Austin Film Festival, which will run Oct. 11-18, 2007.

39 Expression Spring 2007


Tara DeRogatis ’01, of Los Angeles, recently finished two independent short films, which she acted in and co-produced. She runs her own production company, Khaos Pictures. Tara is looking for new projects and is hoping to team up with other alumni.

2006 Emily Carlson is enjoying the city of Portland, Ore., working at Powell’s Bookstore, “not sure of my next step.” During her semester in the L.A. Program, Amber Gideon interned for People magazine.

Since graduation she has been working as a freelance entertainment reporter for People. In the April 2, 2007, issue she was given an exclusive byline for her interview piece with Rainn Wilson.

Megan Jacoby ’06 made her Broadway debut in Broadway Backwards. She continues to sing with Rosie O’Donnell’s Broadway Belters on Rosie’s family cruises.

Brian Samuels is associate producer at the Boston-based documentary company, Northern Light Productions. His thesis documentary, Louder Than Words, was screened at this year’s L.A. Short Film Festival. Brian continues to work as a freelance editor in Boston.

Harris Wittels is a staff writer on the Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central. One of the pieces he submitted in his writing packet was a spec script from Martie Cook’s class.

Where Are You And What are You Doing New job? Received an award? Recently engaged or married? New baby? Moving? Recently ran into a long-lost classmate? Let us know. Use this form to submit your news or send it to Barbara_Rutberg@emerson.edu; 1-800-255-4259; fax: 1-617-824-7807. You can also submit Class Notes online at www.emersonalumni.com.

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Mail to: Class Notes, Emerson College, Office of Alumni Relations, 120 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116-4624

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Why Emerson College?

Because we can’t imagine where we’d be now without it.

S

o say actor-comedian Denis Leary ’79 and his wife, writer Ann Lembeck ’85. The couple recently made a leadership gift to support the College. Denis and Ann met when she was a student in his comedy writing class at Emerson. They married in 1989 and have a son, Jack, and a daughter, Devin. Jack is following in his parents’ footsteps and plans to apply for early admission in 2008.

Ann, an author, wrote An Innocent, A Broad, detailing Jack’s premature birth in England 17 years ago, and the forthcoming novel How We Got From There to Here. “We constantly recommend Emerson to potential college students, including our neighbor’s son who is interested in film production.”

and a rich cultural and social experience. The College is even more appealing today, he adds, because the campus is centralized and provides access to top-of-the-line facilities and equipment. “Today’s students have tremendous energy, just like we did. They are as dead interested as we were in the school and in their educational experiences.”

Ann says that as a student she looked forward to going to class every day. “The experiences were thrilling. The energy and “Everything we’ve done professionally is a direct result relationships that the students of the educations we received and professors shared with each at Emerson,” says Denis, who other were outstanding. received an honorary degree from the College in 2005. “I “Emerson is gifted and blessed, and we have been fortunate can’t imagine where we’d be in our careers. We decided today without Emerson.” to make a gift now because life passes by quickly, and we Leary says Emerson wanted to make sure we did provided him a stimulating something to keep Emerson intellectual environment strong.”

Denis Leary ‘79 and Ann Lembeck ‘85 For more information about gift opportunities at Emerson College, contact: Cathy Black, director, Major Gifts, at 617 824-8533 or email catherine_black@emerson.edu.

41 Expression Spring 2007


An Awards Show Like No Other

Musicians performing at the College’s annual EVVY Awards pause for a film clip. Dozens of Emerson students emerged as winners in the 26th annual EVVY Award ceremony held a few days before Commencement 2007 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. Some two dozen awards were presented in recognition of outstanding student work in fields ranging from film to advertising. The winners were chosen by 165 industry judges who reviewed 650 submissions. Alumni Awards of Distinction was presented to Emerson alumni Paul Dini, writer for Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and Tiny Toon Adventures, and Kate Boutilier, writer/co-producer of Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, and As Told By Ginger.

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Expression Spring 2007  

The magazine for alumni and friends of Emerson College

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